Mirror, Mirror, on The … Person?
Level 4: Serious Player
I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say. - Flannery O’Conner
I look at my 8 month old son, and I see myself and my dad in his eyes, in his face, in his smile.
He smiles. I smile back. He smiles even more.
He bonks his head (climber this one).
He is sad.
I am sad.
He looks in my eyes and I make the face he makes.
He sees my calm. He calms.
I smile a little. He brightens up.
We are self centered creatures at our core. It makes sense for survival. Our innate drive and tendencies are towards our own interest and care.
But for all our self-centeredness we lack the ability to see our own selves clearly.
Not without a mirror.
And yet, we don't spend our days staring into the physical object "mirror." Instead, we have evolved to use everything else in the world as a mirror.
Built into our DNA is reflection. We've developed over eons the nuanced power to see ourselves in everything around us.
We see ourselves in the subtle expression of other people's eyes.
We see ourselves in the stories told of heroes and adventurers.
We see ourselves in the impact our actions make.
To our own self, we are but shadows and echos of our own reflection off other living things.
That also means we NEED other living things to see ourselves fully, to live ourselves fully.
That also means we are vulnerable to the exploits of other living things who take advantage of that need for a mirror and show us someone we are NOT.
Whether you like it or not, YOU are a mirror, and you need one yourself.
The Scrutiny of Emulation
There's an advanced concept we talk about in TGA we can call "Scrutiny and Expectations." The short version is, when you are in the role of a leader, "everything you do comes under a microscope." (Read more about Scrutiny and Expectations here)1
I want to talk about a subset of this idea which I've come to know and call "The Scrutiny of Emulation."